Even though the earth is known as the “blue planet”, only 2.5 % of its water is freshwater. And of this portion only a third can be used as drinking water. The resource is scarce and unevenly distributed: More than 2 billion people on earth live without access to clean water at home. To highlight this water crisis, the United Nations host World Water Day every year on March 22, accompanied by campaigns and activities of governmental and non-governmental organizations. We talked to Dr. Patrick Bräutigam, group manager of the working group “Reaction Engineering Water” at IKTS and head of the group “Water Technology” at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena about how research institutions can contribute to the fight against the water crisis, why the resource must also be protected in industrialized countries and which technologies will become relevant in the future.